Feds: Evansville man sentenced to 10 years in prison in child porn case

EVANSVILLE, Ind. - A registered sex offender living in Evansville was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison Friday after admitting he used his home computer to look at child pornography.

Benjamin David Thomas, 58, also faces a lifetime of federally supervised release after his prison sentence ends, according to the Evansville Courier & Press .

Thomas already was a registered sex offender following a conviction on child molestation charges in 1997, according to Vanderburgh County court records.

Thomas appeared in U.S. District Court at Evansville this week, where Chief Judge Richard L. Young sentenced him, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Todd Shellenbarger.

Federal inmates are required to serve at least 85 percent of their sentences before they qualify for release.

Young also ordered that Thomas register as a sex offender, participate in a treatment program and have no unsupervised contact with minors after his release, Shellenbarger said.

The case was the result of an investigation by the FBI’s Child Exploitation Task Force and Evansville Police Department as part of Operation Community Watch, an initiative of U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana Joseph Hogsett.

After his arrest, Thomas admitted to law enforcement agents that he used his computer to view images of minors engaging in sexual acts.

Hogsett has said Operation Community Watch is a comprehensive crackdown on child exploitation in Indiana using cutting-edge techniques to identify and charge people engaged in the receipt and trafficking of child pornography materials.

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